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School Librarian Saturday: CodeSpark Academy

In School Librarian Saturday, I’m going to share the websites, databases, apps, and other stuff I use with students in my K-5 teacher-librarian role, under the cover of internet darkness (see: the weekend).

Today we have the coding app CodeSpark Academy.

What It Is: CodeSpark is an app (and now a website as well) that gamifies the basics of computer coding.

What’s Good About It: Educator accounts are free (non-school use is subscription-based). It’s wordless, which makes it accessible to a wide range of students. The puzzles do a nice job of building on skills and teaching coding concepts in a fun way.

What’s Bad About It: Users can spend forever customizing their characters and never get to the actual coding. But this shouldn’t be an issue with a little grown-up guidance.

Last Words: CodeSpark is well-done and substantial. Don’t tell anyone, but I sort of can’t believe it’s free for educators. Recommended.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.